Transatomic Power

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A New Way to Do Nuclear GARETH COOK; New Yorker; 13 Jun 2013

Can Nuclear Energy Save the World? Brookings Institution; 12 Dec 2014

Nuclear engineers Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie share their progress on creating safer and more efficient nuclear energy technologies to power the world and address the looming threat of climate change.

Leslie and Mark's Old/New Idea Josh Freed; Brookings Institute; 12 Dec 2014

TECHNICAL WHITE PAPER V 1.0.3 MARCH 2016 (from Internet Archive)

Transatomic Power’s advanced molten salt reactor consumes spent nuclear fuel cleanly and completely, unlocking vast amounts of cheap, carbon-free energy. It solves four of the most pressing problems facing the nuclear industry: ecological stewardship, public safety, nonproliferation, and cost-efficiency. Only an advanced reactor that meets all four goals at once can truly change the game and allow for broad adoption of nuclear power.
Section 1 of this white paper briefly reviews the molten salt reactor concept, and then explains the key technology innovations in the TAP reactor design. Section 2 describes the reactor itself – including the nuclear island layout, fuel composition, moderator, materials, and the system’s neutronics and waste stream – and examines the technology in more detail. The next sections focus on the benefits that this new design enables: Section 3 discusses improved inherent safety, Section 4 describes the lower cost, Section 5 explains how the TAP reactor reduces waste storage times and lowers the hurdle for a new waste repository, and Section 6 analyzes the anti-proliferation benefits. In Sections 7 and 8, we explain why we chose this design pathway instead of a fast-spectrum or thorium-fueled reactor. Section 9 describes likely future advances to the reactor design and the benefits these will enable. Section 10, the conclusion, summarizes our analysis.

July 2016 white paper

Molten salt reactor neutronics data released World Nuclear News; 8 Jul 2016

Transatomic Power Corporation has released technical information on the design of its molten salt reactor (MSR), which it says offers multiple advantages over existing generation technologies. The technical white paper issued by the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company outlines how its 1250 MWth reactor design - the TAP MSR - uses the properties of its liquid fuel to increase fuel utilization while decreasing the overall amount of waste produced.

press release 6 Jul 2016

Transatomic Power Corporation today released a new technical white paper detailing its ground-breaking nuclear reactor design, an unprecedented step for an early-stage nuclear reactor developer. The paper, which was posted to the company’s website, provides an in-depth look at the science underlying the core design, and further demonstrates its multiple advantages over existing power generation technologies.

white paper (from Internet Archive)

Transatomic Power’s advanced molten salt reactor unlocks clean, safe, and low-cost nuclear energy from both spent nuclear fuel and fresh uranium. Our revolutionary design allows us to achieve a high fuel burnup in a compact system, solve the nuclear industry’s most pressing problems, and clear the way for advanced nuclear power’s global deployment.

Nov 2016 white paper

neutronics white paper

For nuclear energy to be a viable source of baseload power, new nuclear reactor designs must address existing concerns about waste storage by increasing fuel utilization and reducing overall waste production. This paper outlines the ways in which the Transatomic Power 1250 MWth molten salt reactor design takes advantage of its liquid fuel in order to address these challenges. By employing continuous fission product removal and core geometry modification, the TAP MSR achieves more than twice the fuel utilization of light water reactors (LWRs). When using 5% enriched uranium – the maximum enrichment readily available in the current supply chain – this increased efficiency leads to an approximate 53% waste reduction compared to LWRs. Using higher enrichments, up to the 20% Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) limit, this reduction reaches 83%.

Nuclear Energy Startup Transatomic Backtracks on Key Promises James Temple; MIT Technology Review; 24 Feb 2017

Nuclear energy startup Transatomic Power has backed away from bold claims for its advanced reactor technology after an informal review by MIT professors highlighted serious errors in the company’s calculations
In a white paper published in March 2014, the company proclaimed its reactor "can generate up to 75 times more electricity per ton of mined uranium than a light-water reactor."
But in a paper on its site dated November 2016, the company downgraded “75 times” to "more than twice." In addition, it now specifies that the design “does not reduce existing stockpiles of spent nuclear fuel,” or use them as its fuel source. The promise of recycling nuclear waste, which poses tricky storage and proliferation challenges, was a key initial promise of the company

2018 shutdown

Open Sourcing our reactor design, and the future of Transatomic Leslie Dewan; Transatomic; 2018

Transatomic has faced challenges. In 2016, we realized that there were mistakes in our original analyses, and the design would not be able to consume nuclear waste. This was a hard moment both for the company and for me personally – I started Transatomic specifically because I wanted to address the nuclear waste problem. Despite this setback, we continued working, and our updated reactor design still provides substantial and wide-ranging benefits: it produces less than half the waste of conventional nuclear reactors, has no risk of meltdown, and has the potential to make nuclear more economically viable than fossil fuels.
We still strongly believe in our technology, and in advanced reactor technology as a whole. However, despite our best efforts, we haven’t been able to scale up the company rapidly enough to build our reactor in a reasonable timeframe. It is therefore with a heavy heart that I must announce that Transatomic will suspend operations.

Transatomic to Shutter Its Nuclear Reactor Plans, Open-Source Its Technology Jeff St John; Green Tech Media; 25 Sep 2018

Nuclear reactor startup Transatomic Power is shutting down operations, after deciding it doesn’t see a viable path to bringing its molten salt reactor designs to scale.
But the startup still wants its technology to play a role in the future of advanced nuclear reactors — so it’s making it all public.